Financial Responsibility without SA


My husband leaves every year or so; but, this time I have had enough. He left again on 05/18. We have been able to work together thus far on paying bills. However, he is steadily becoming harder to communicate with and often will not answer important finanical questions. I am trying to obtain an attorney; but, have not been able to do so as of yet.

He makes 68% of our combined income. I have two children from a previous marriage. We have been married 8 years.

He refuses to sign a Separation Agreement.

Money is really tight for me. I do not want to hurt myself in the long-term and need advice on what bills I should pay.

Few points that may or may not be important:

Mortgage is in his name only.

I have Fibromyalgia and had not worked for two years prior to April (when he started making it obvious he would leave again)

Children and I live in the house. He lives with a friend and pays $50.00 a week for bed and board.

He has not helped with anything since he has left except for giving me money to pay bills. Now he says he is not going to do that. I have had to take responsibility for financial planning, handled all work around house and in yard.

He has spent money on his medical needs while I have been unable to attend to mine.

His vehicle is maintained while mean needs a lot of work.

I want to make sure that I take the best course of action for children and myself. I would like to use some of my check to take care of my medical needs and car; however, this will leave me with no money to contribute toward mortgage. Utilities, food, student loans, and debts in my name take up my check. I would also like to set some money aside to move as I am failing at financially and physically taking care of up-keep on the house and think an apartment might be a wiser choice. He has promised to take care of the yard; but, has not done anything since leaving.

Is it advisable to take the child-support I receive from the children’s biological father and put that into a savings account in their name with my name on it?

Thank you in advance for any replies. I have tried to find answers on this subject but have not found anything that really applies to a step-parent situation and how to pay bills without a separation agreement and do not want to be blind-sided by a possible court order to reimburse him for mortgage payments, etc.



The child support you receive from the children’s biological father is meant to ensure the children’s needs are met, including housing and living expenses, and unless you are financially able to meet their expenses each month I do not suggest you put that money into a savings account as it will only cause you to go into debt.
As for the martial expenses, your husband should be contributing to the mortgage as you could risk losing the home pending equitable distribution if he does not.
I suggest you retain an attorney in the immediate future so that you may file an action for equitable distribution in order to settle all property issues, and though your husband does not earn substantially more than you, you may qualify as a dependant spouse. If you can prove you are actually and substantially dependant on his income to maintain your standard of living you will be entitled to post-separation support and alimony.


Thank you for your quick response. I really appreciate it!

I have calls in to several attorney’s in my area and will not be able to see anyone until after the mortgage is due.

I have asked him several times what I need to give him toward the mortgage and he either ignores me or says he doesn’t know what if anything he can contribute toward it.

How much is a fair amount for me to send toward the mortgage to protect myself while waiting to get in to see an attorney?

I am paying for all utilities as I can’t have anything turned off; but, I only have so much money and can’t pay for everything. I am trying to to the best I can; but, I have been attempting communication and agreeing on amounts since the beginning of June.

Any advice until I can meet with an attorney?

Thank you again; your help is greatly appreciated.


The mortgage company is not going to perceive any amount less than the whole payment as fair, but in order to act in good faith, sending in at least half is a good idea. Remember it will not affect your credit if the payments fall behind (since the mortgage is only in his name) but if you lose the house to foreclosure, it will certainly affect the distribution of marital estate.


Just to clarify. Are you giving the mortgage money to the bank or to HIM? You said him in your last post. How do you know for sure the money is going to the mortgage if you are giving it to him directly?

Erin, should she be giving him the money directly if her situation is that bad? She said she can’t have the utilities shut off and is having a hard time paying them and has an illness.


Thank you for your replies! I really appreciate your help. My co worker is also going through a divorce so he called his lawyer who said that I should deposit the money for half the mortgage into a new savings account along with half of other bills until I can meet with an attorney to go over my situation in depth. Don’t worry. I won’t give him the money physically. When I do I will send to the mortgage company. Thank you again for your replies. They are greatly appreciated.